By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday approved the extension of intervention funds to the Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) as part of efforts to continue to support the power sector.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of a meeting of FEC presided over by Vice President Yemi Oshinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She said the approval for extension of support to the power sector was based on an agreements signed by the Federal Government to bridge any gap that may exist after Nigeria Electricity Bulk Traders (NBET) may have settled the GenCos.
She said: “Council also approved an extension of a Central Bank of Nigeria intervention that will be used to continue to support the power sector specifically the generation arm of the sector. This is based on a commitment that we signed into as a country, where we have several guarantees to the Generation Companies (GenCos) to bridge any gap that they have after the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) has settled them.
“The central bank assurance facility that we got approval for today is to pay the Gencos for any financing shortfall that they have after the bulk trader NBET settles them. So it is a cost on government, it is loan, government will be paying it back to the central bank. The essence is to meet the contract obligations that government signed with the Gencos on the assurance we gave them on off taking any power that they generate after payment is made from the NBET.”
The minister also disclosed that a new import levy of 0.2 percent to be charged on imports coming into the country was approved by FEC for the financing of Nigeria’s membership subscription in the African Union.
She however announced that they would be some exceptions.
“The exceptions includes goods originating from outside the territory of member countries that are coming into the country for consumptions. It also includes goods that are coming in for aid and also it includes goods that are originating from non-member countries but are imported through specific financing agreements that ask for such kinds of exemptions. It also exempts goods that have been ordered and are under importation process before the scheme was announced into effect.
“The purpose of this new levy is to enable the African Union member countries pay on a sustainable basis their subscriptions to African Union_” according to the ministers
FEC also approved about N4bn for infrastructure development across the Federal Capital Territory.